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Why Doesn’t My Dog Bark and (What to Do About It)

Barking is one of the many ways dogs communicate with you. If you’re lucky enough to have a dog that doesn’t bark a lot, then you’ll be free of complaints from your neighbors.

But sometimes, it can be a sign of great concern when your dog doesn’t bark. Don’t worry, we can help. In this guide, we’ll go over the causes of why your dog might not be barking and what to do about it.

Why My Dog Doesn’t Bark

There are a number of reasons why your dog may not be barking. Maybe you have a timid dog, or you just moved to a new place that your dog isn’t familiar with. Or maybe your dog has a medical condition that prevents him from barking.

Below are the most common reasons why your dog might be quieter than normal. Go through them in order until you narrow it down, so you can make the best decision for your furry friend,

  1. Dog Personality
  2. Breed Disposition
  3. Unfamiliar Places
  4. Past Experiences
  5. Aging Dog
  6. Vocal Stress
  7. Previous Training
  8. Collar Injury
  9. Medical Condition

Dog Personality

You may find that your dog has a natural tendency to be quiet. If your dog has always been naturally quiet, it means that he’s only acting normal if he doesn’t bark often. It’s a different case if your dog suddenly just stopped barking. 

In this case, when you have a quiet dog, the advantage to it is that you will not have an issue with your neighbors over a barking dog all the time.

Also, you can tell something is particularly wrong anytime your dog barks because he’s naturally quiet. 

In addition, there are situations where having your dog bark can be helpful such as when you want him to communicate with you about something that he needs. In this case, you can train your dog to bark at such times. 

Breed Disposition

The breed of dogs is one of the factors to consider when trying to understand your dog’s communication forms. 

By nature, some have a less predisposition to barking and a calmer personality. The main breeds that bark little are the following:

  • Basenji: His communicative expressions are different as he emits prolonged high-pitched howls, like the sound of a moving bell. The explanation is found in its vocal cords, like those of a wolf.
  • Rottweiler: His hyperactivity greatly reduces the frequency of barking, but he can bark when bored.
  • Great Dane: The tranquillity that characterizes it makes it a silent canine despite its large size.
  • Labrador retrievers: They’re affectionate and love to play, but they also bark little compared to other breeds.
  • Newfoundland dogs: They’re ideal for living with children, and they like water a lot. They bark very little.
  • Pug: They have a very calm character, which explains their little barking. Still, in very specific contexts, they can bark excessively.
  • French Bulldog: They’re also calm and barely bark. So living with this breed is simple.

Unfamiliar Places

The arrival of a pet at home is not always an easy experience for them. If you’ve adopted the dog from the street or a shelter, he’ll need a period of adaptation to a new and unfamiliar environment.

As the days go by, the dog gains more confidence and tranquillity when he interacts with his new family. This may make you wonder, “why my dog ​​doesn’t bark and just cries.”

This process of adaptation of a new dog with a new family is called a “honeymoon”. When that phase is over, your dog’s anxiety might go away, and he’ll likely start to bark again.

Past Experiences

The reasons why a dog does not bark can also be found in his past. You don’t know the treatment he had with his previous legal guardian.

So there’s a possibility that he has suffered some type of abuse or even has undergone a surgical operation in which his vocal cords have been removed.

In cases where the little barking is due to abuse suffered, your pet will overcome the trauma and gradually recover his voice with patience and some gentle training techniques.

Dealing with a battered dog may be challenging, but it doesn’t mean you can’t help him get better.

In these cases, take the opportunity to train him and teach him basic behavior guidelines with love and affection.

Aging Dog

Just like humans, a dog’s level of energy, alertness, and body productivity reduce with age.

As a result, a dog’s hearing reduces as it grows older and reacts to sounds from the environment less than it used to before. Therefore, the dog’s barking declines with time.

Vocal Stress

If you have a swollen or sore throat, you might not be able to shout as much as before, would you?

The same thing applies to your dog. Any form of vocal stress will prevent your dog from barking as it should.

You should check to see if your dog has been vocally stressed, if he stops barking suddenly, or has been coughing for some time.

Previous Training

If you got your dog after he has had a previous owner, and he doesn’t bark often, it might be that the dog was trained not to bark or to be quieter.

Similarly, you might have also trained your dog to bark less unknowingly. Perhaps, you punished your dog sometimes when he barked so loudly, or you rewarded him when he didn’t bark.

This could lead to future occurrences where your dog is prone to bark less.

Collar Injury

Another factor that you should consider, especially if your dog is very nervous and pulls on the collar you’re walking him with, is a possible injury to the vocal cords.

If your dog pulls too much on the leash, it can cause throat or larynx irritations. We recommend using a harness to walk your dog down the street to avoid this. This will ensure your dog’s convenience during the walk.

Medical Condition

Perhaps your dog isn’t barking as much as before because of a health issue. If your dog isn’t feeling well, he won’t have the energy to bark.

Below are all possible medical reasons why a dog doesn’t bark.

  • Respiratory conditions
  • Chronic vomiting
  • Trauma to the larynx or trachea
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Hoarseness from having barked excessively in the past
  • Vocal cord affectations

You should be attentive to signs that point to a health problem in your dog when it isn’t barking and respond to them urgently.

What to Do When Your Dog Is Not Barking

Now that you know about the reasons behind your dog not barking, there’re a few things that you can consider to help your canine friend.

Be Patient

One option would be to give your dog time to become accustomed to its new environment and establish a bond with you if you’ve just adopted him.

Additionally, it’d be helpful to give him lots of positive attention, training, and activity and play with him to help him become more comfortable.

This will help build an atmosphere of affection and love that will help your dog to bark more.

Train Your Dog to Bark

A positive reinforcement training program can also be used to train a dog to bark more.

In this type of training, you reward your dog for exhibiting the behaviors you’d like to see from him and stop rewarding him when he stops displaying those behaviors.

When training your dog to bark, have some of your dog’s favorite treats at hand to make him enthusiastic about the training.

Start by giving him some of the treats, then keep the rest out of his reach until he barks. Then, the dog can have some more treats.

Initially, your dog may not bark right away. So reward slight growling, then gradually impose more and more until it begins to bark.

Ensure you only reward your dog when you’ve asked him to bark and not just when he wants to. This will prevent the dog from being unnecessarily noisy.

Take Your Dog to the Vet

The best way to address a medical problem would be to take your dog to the vet if he has stopped barking or has been showing signs of discomfort.

If you suspect a health issue with your dog, take him to the vet as soon as possible. Failing to do so can put your dog at risk. 

Final Thoughts on Why Your Dog Isn’t Barking

If you feel your dog hasn’t been barking like other dogs in the neighborhood, the steps in this guide should help you figure out what’s wrong with your four-legged friend.

You might feel a barking dog might be too noisy, but wouldn’t you rather prefer your dog to be healthy and active? What do you think? 

Let’s hear your views in the comment section! Don’t forget to share this article with fellow dog owners too!  

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Lisemaine is a dog lover. She currently owns two Frenchies and enjoys working with and training them. She'll share her best tips with you to keep your Frenchie happy, healthy, and active.

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